On November 28, 2018, responding to the call of the Students’ Federation of India (SFI) State Committee – Himachal Pradesh, a protest outside Shimla deputy commissioner's office was held against the alleged suppression, of the Rs 250 crore scam of SC/ST students’ scholarship, by the BJP Government in the state.
SFI has alleged that since the year 2016, SC/ST students have not received their scholarships, and the state has been involved in a scam. Although the present BJP government has assured Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the scam, the real motive of the government seems to be suppressing it.
The Education Department of Himachal Pradesh had started the exercise of handing the investigation over to the CBI through the Home Department, but now, the department is completely silent on this subject. Shimla Police, which is investigating the matter, also seem to be sitting on this matter.
Hemraj Thakur, member of SFI addressing reporters outside the DC office, said, “From the very beginning, SFI has met the state government and the Education Department for handing over the investigation of this case to the CBI, but both of them have remained silent till now. At the same time, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had declared a CBI probe, but he is also silent on the matter. SFI believes that this laid-back attitude shows that the state government is trying to save its loved ones, while the central government also has not been able to provide SC/ST students scholarship for the last three years. In total, for the last three years, scholarship for SC/ST students worth approximately Rs 11,156 crores is pending.”
The SFI State President Vikram Kaith told Newsclick, “Today, the BJP government in the state and at the Centre is not trying to provide scholarships to students, and is trying to eliminate these students from higher education. SFI demands that the CBI inquiry into the SC/ST scholarship scam in the state should be expedited soon, and simultaneously, the pending scholarships should be given to the students as soon as possible, so that the SC/ST students do not have to face further problems.”
He added that if there is no action this time, SFI will prepare for a state-wide agitation against the state’s apathy from December 2.
Read more: Over Rs. 250 crore Scholarship Scam in Himachal Pradesh University